I remember the other day, I was thinking to myself, “Man, I wish I was young. I wish I was a kid again.”
I remember when I was a little kid, saying to myself, “Man, I wish I was a grown up.”
Talk about role reversal. Talk about not knowing what the heck you want. Talk about it enough, and you’ll never forget it.
Everything about a grown up seemed so cool when I was a youngstah. It was so far ahead of me though, that I was sure it would never come to be. I was certain that I would be stuck in that little kid body forever, and never be able to enjoy all of the benefits that came with being a big person. It all seemed so glamorous and glorified. It was where you wanted to be. It was the cat’s meow, the talk of the town, the top of the mountain where you could be king of the hill. It was awesome, and I wanted me some.
Well, here I am, still searching for the glamour. Still looking for the glitter. Still waiting for the red carpet roll out. Still saying to myself, “I wish I was a kid again.”
How can that be? How could I have wished away something I would wish for later on? Why would anybody do that to themselves? Why didn’t someone tell me what was going on? Hello?
As a child, I could see how the lives of the adults around me were so important. They were needed here, and wanted over there. There always seemed to be a hop in their step, and a sparkle in their eye. They knew what to do, and when to do it. Kids didn’t have to worry, because the grown ups knew it all.
Ok, you can stop laughing now.
They seemed as though they really did though. So many problems were solved by grown ups. So many lives were touched and made better by grown ups. So many things were done, and built, and thought up by grown ups. They had it all! They had it all, and I wanted me some.
Oh it was fine and all being a kid and everything. I mean, how could it not be? Thanks to you grown ups, I had whatever I needed. Whatever it was, you guys thought it up, and made sure that it was available to us kids. By the way, thanks a lot.
I used to look up to you guys, and just stare at your amazing ability to be big people. It was truly an incredible feat. One that I was pretty sure that I would never have a firm grasp on. I mean, how could a little kid like me, ever get to be as important as you guys were? It just seemed so untouchable to me.
So there I was, stuck, as a kid. Playing, and running, and laughing, and eating, and sleeping, and swimming, and playing ball, and riding bikes, and swinging. Actually, it was all quite tiring being a kid. I’m glad I ate a big breakfast.
One thing happened though, and it happened really, really fast. Somewhere along the way, I seemed to have misplaced my childhood. I thought I set it right over, no, it’s not there. I still can’t seem to find it. Have you seen it?
How could I have misplaced something of such great importance? How could I end up, here? How did I turn into a grown up without even knowing it? There were no road signs, no television infomercials, no small print, nothing. It just happened without warning.
I thought that when I started turning into an adult that it would be so much fun. I thought everyone would notice and tell me how much of a good time I was about to have. I thought that my head would be instantly filled up with all of that grown up stuff that used to amaze me as a kid.
Just me, and all of my kid things tagging along behind.
I got bigger as I got older, and things started to not fit me. Big deal. I was twice the size as I used to be, with twice as many kid things, and now I was looking down at another little kid that looked just like me, and a pretty lady that seemed to like being around me. I guess I had convinced her somehow that I was, indeed, a grown up. I don’t have the heart to tell her, or is it the other way around?
Was this the same thing as being a grown up? Was I grown up? How did I get behind the wheel of this car? I never thought I would ever be able to figure out how to drive a car, let alone a big truck. Me? No frikkin way!
There must be a manual somewhere that tells me, step by step, what I am supposed to do. I mean what am I supposed to do with this mini me staring at me from that play pen, and who put that playpen in the middle of the living room? I can’t even see the TV! Hello?
All of the kid things, all of the kid sounds, and smells, and everything that went along with being a kid, came along with me, taped around my ankles, dragging behind me. It’s a good thing they made kid things tuff back then.
I would give anything to have my Schwinn Sting Ray bike, my Speedway Sled, my first Franklin baseball glove, my first GT Skateboard, my old 45 record player, and all of my old Hot Wheels. That’s all I needed back then. Instant childhood dreams, just add the kid.
It was nice watching my son grow up. It allowed me to revert back to a lot of my childhood ways. It allowed me to forget all of the grown up things that I had to worry about all the time. It allowed me to continue where I left off.
And now I get one more shot as I listen to the sound of my grandson’s voice as he begins his kid interval. I get to remember when. I get to feel all of those feelings one more time, and it is a beautiful thing.
I can remember back then, thinking that I would never grow up. I would never be able to not be a kid, because it was taking a really long time to do all of the kid things on my list. I didn’t have time to be a grown up back then. There was just way too much to do, with all of the sliding, and sledding, and skating, and running, and jumping, and blaming my little brother, and throwing, and cart wheeling, and flipping, and wrestling, and hide and go seek, and baseball, and football, and hurling apples towards Walter’s work shop from the end of a long apple branch, and getting caught hurling apples towards Walter’s work shop from the end of a long apple branch, and snow ball fights, and jumping off the rope into the river at Pine Point, and blaming my little brother again, and digging in the sand at the other Pine Point, and the jungle gyms, and the teeter totters, and the merry go rounds, and the Corn Festival, and watching the Portland Promenade fireworks from the front lawn, and don’t even get me started on Santa..
I really, really wish I was a kid again.